Discover the incredible journey of Kuala Lumpur-based publicist Jazzmin Wan of Swan Consultancy as she embarked on a transformative fitness journey during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From a non-toned physique to a remarkable transformation, Wan took charge of her fitness and shares her invaluable insights on maintaining weight, staying consistent, and her inspiring personal story.
Get ready to be inspired as DailyStraits.com delves into Wan’s incredible fitness journey.
Can you share the backstory of how you started your fitness journey?
My dedication to fitness and yoga began in my 30s and everything was going well until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Losing my job in tourism, I, like everyone else, had to adapt to life in lockdown. It was a challenging period, but I made sure to keep up with my yoga practice. In fact, I took the opportunity to further my knowledge and became a certified yoga teacher through YTT studies. Teaching yoga online became my focus during the lockdown.
However, everything changed in the post-pandemic era. My career was in disarray, and I found myself starting from scratch. Despite teaching yoga daily, I felt lost and unfulfilled. To fill the void, I turned to beer, relying on it day and night to pass the time. Discipline became nonexistent, and my lifestyle contradicted the very essence of yoga. Unsurprisingly, my weight started to pile up.
By early 2022, I knew I needed to make a change. Yet, getting back on track proved challenging. I felt rusty and uncertain about how to proceed. I used to excel at maintaining my routine, so why was it so difficult to return to it now? I was on the verge of accepting that it was okay to let things be, comfortable in my own skin, especially in my 40s. I almost adopted a mindset of not needing to work hard.
However, everything shifted when I met my partner. On our first date, he took me on a one-hour hike at Moon Gate Hill on Penang Island—a seemingly romantic gesture that turned into a stark reality check. I struggled immensely during the hike, feeling out of shape and breathless. I had to stop numerous times as my body couldn’t handle it. It was a wake-up call. Even individuals in their 80s were hiking better than me.
Taking it one step at a time, I began hiking twice a week to improve my stamina. I started noticing positive changes in my movement and breathing patterns. Then, from July 2022 onwards, my partner wholeheartedly trained me in the gym using machines and weights. My body constantly ached, but I persevered. I questioned why I had to push myself so hard, enduring the pain.
Yet, with time, I learned to embrace the discomfort. I started falling in love with the training process, relishing the feeling of challenging my body each day. It became a mental battle I was determined to conquer—a victory that no amount of money could buy.
Now, my perspective and mindset have undergone a profound transformation. I feel stronger than ever, applying the same principles to both work and life. I no longer fear trying new things or shying away from challenges. Instead, I welcome them with open arms.
What was your weight before, and what is your weight now?
Starting at my heaviest weight of 70kg, I have successfully shed the excess and currently weigh 51kg. My current goal is to reach 49kg, aiming for the physique category of Mr. Penang 2023.
Some people have a hard time keeping up with their fitness goals. How do you overcome this hurdle?
Taking it one step at a time and embracing consistency is key to success. Realism is important, so setting small goals was my initial approach. My humble aim was to weigh at least one kg less than my partner within three months. He was 64kg, and I was 70kg, meaning I had to shed six kg in a span of three to four months. I started small by incorporating walking into my routine, as it’s an activity accessible to everyone. Although easier said than done, my advice is to simply take action without overthinking. It’s natural to encounter obstacles before leaving the house—laundry, what to bring, rain, work, hunger, or even needing the toilet. Stop overthinking and just do it. Once you begin walking, you’ll be amazed by how you feel after covering a few kilometers. Personally, I started with three km in the first month, and now I either run or walk 10 km every day. That’s how our bodies work—use it or lose it. By utilizing it, our bodies will continue to perform better and better.
What keeps you motivated?
I am determined to avoid reverting to my previous self. I refuse to repeat the same patterns that led me to my worst state. To maintain my motivation, I actively seek out challenges. Earlier this year, I registered for a marathon in Hatyai, despite not being a natural runner, with the goal of proving to myself that I could complete a 10 km run. And I did it. What’s even more empowering is that once you achieve these small milestones, the desire for more and to perform better grows. I have set my sights on upcoming plans to conquer 20 km and 40 km distances.
Next month, I will be participating in a body figure competition, something I never dreamt of doing before. It’s not about winning or losing in the competition itself; it’s about winning over myself. Through this journey, I have gained valuable insights into how my body functions, developed self-control, and discovered my self-worth.
What sort of diet plans do you follow?
To maintain a balanced approach to my fitness journey, I rely on Fitness Pal to track my intake and output. It helps me ensure that I get my macros right and avoid starving myself, as I need ample energy to sustain my daily activities and training. I allow myself the occasional cheat meal, typically only one to two times a week and exclusively on weekends. With numerous diets available, I believe it’s crucial to choose one that feels most comfortable for you. Ultimately, you must be accountable to yourself and take responsibility for your own body.
Finally, what advice do you have for women out there who are having a hard time starting their exercise journey?
Envision your ideal self and gather the courage to embark on the journey toward that vision. Embrace the power of manifestation and be prepared to put in the necessary effort. Have the bravery to embrace change, even if it’s just dedicating 30 minutes a day. Remember, every action you take is for your own benefit and contributes to becoming a better version of yourself.
Editor’s Note: At DailyStraits.com we recognize the role of publicists more than ever and so if you are a PR practitioner and have an incredible weight loss journey you’d love to share with our readers then do drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll handle the rest. We can’t wait to hear your inspiring weight-loss journey!
June Ramli is the editor of DailyStraits.com. To stay in touch with June, look her up on Twitter @junesairaramli